Dear UMW Community,
As part of the University of Mary Washington’s celebration of Dr. James Farmer, Farmer Legacy 2020: A Centennial Celebration and Commitment to Action, we wanted to recognize the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose advocacy for gender equality transformed the American legal and social landscape. Generations of Americans, including students at Mary Washington College and UMW, have benefited from her lifelong commitment to social justice.
Tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 24, take a virtual guided tour through the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, offered for free from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.
Here are some of Ginsburg’s biographical and career highlights:
- Ginsburg was born Joan Ruth Bader in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, to a mother who worked in a garment factory and a father who was a furrier.
- In 1954, Ginsburg obtained her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, where she graduated near the top of her class.
- In 1956, Ginsburg began at Harvard Law School as one of the few women students. Despite facing fierce discrimination at Harvard, she was the first female member of the Harvard Law Review. After transferring to Columbia Law School, she graduated at the top of her class in 1959.
- In 1972, Ginsburg began teaching law a Columbia Law School and became the first female professor to earn tenure in the law school.
- During the 1970s, she directed the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. In this role, she successfully argued six landmark gender discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
- In 1993, Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton as the second woman justice in the Court’s history and served until her death from cancer on September 18, 2020.
- In 1996, Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia, which ruled that the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment by denying women admission to VMI. After 157 years as an all-male institution, in 1997, VMI began admitting women.
In the spirit of good trouble,
Farmer Legacy 2020 Council
Sabrina Johnson, Co-Chair
Juliette Landphair, Co-Chair